Happy Thanksgiving week! Although Thanksgiving isn’t going to be the same this year, I cannot help but feel extremely grateful for all I have in my life. I just got married to my all time favorite person on this planet, and I get to spend the rest of my days happy with him. I’m so grateful for my family. They’ve been through the ringer with me at some points in my life, and if not for them, I certainly wouldn’t be in the position I am today. I have everything I need already, and although I was just laid off again due to new COVID restrictions, I know everything is going to be ok. I will continue to put out good energy to the world and do all that I can to continue to lead the best life possible. I am so grateful to have all of you who read these posts, I’m truly honored and humbled to have people care. I know this Thanksgiving may be difficult for some out there, but let’s try to remember this is not permanent, and we will all get through this! What are you grateful for?
Sorry (not sorry) to get so deep, but what better time for thanks than Thanksgiving week? Since I’ve been laid off again, you can expect a lot more recipes coming from me. Indoor dining in Denver and surrounding counties has once again been shut down, so once again I’m unemployed. Not to worry, I have all that I need, and I have a couple months to figure out something new. I am going to keep busy, working on new recipes and sharing more here!
Lately, I’ve been OBSESSED with apple cider. Does anyone remember the apple cider pods that came with a Keurig sample pack? I always LOVED those, and still drink them whenever I visit my mom. Apples impart so much flavor, and when spiced right with just enough citrus, ugh, I could drink it all day. Cold weather calls for warm drinks, and this one is great for holiday’s and gifting. You can really use whatever apple you like, but I find a blend of tart and sweet apples are perfect. Apples like granny smith, honeycrisp, and braeburn are the go-to tart apples. Red Delicious, Gala, and Fuji are all great sweet apples to balance the tartness. In my recipe below, I added some fresh cranberry. I like this because it adds a little more acidity, and makes the cider a really pretty pink color. It doesn’t make the cider taste like cranberry, but provides another level of underlying flavor in the drink.
This cider is so easy to make! If you don’t have an instant pot, you can still make this in a crock pot. Just follow the same directions and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 hours.
Once the cider is done, you need to strain it through a fine mesh strainer and discard the pulp. If you want to go a step further and remove all the pulp, you should strain it through cheesecloth. In the recipe below, I’ve listed 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sugar. I would start with 1/2 cup and then taste the cider when it’s finished. Add more sugar to your liking. I’ve done this because everyone has different preferences of sweetener, and you can even use stevia or sweet n low in replace of sugar. Save the cider in a sealed container and either freeze it or keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To reheat it, you can either microwave it or heat it in a sauce pot on the stove. This is also a great base for any winter cocktail! Add in your favorite spirit (whiskey or rum would be great).
Instant Pot Apple Cider
Yield 6 cups
Zest 1 Lemon
Lemon Segments 1
Cinnamon Stick 1 or 2 tsp Cinnamon
Whole Cloves 11 or ½ tsp cloves
Vanilla Bean 1
Sugar ½ – 1 cup (sweeten as desired)
Fresh Cranberry ½ cup
Water 4 cups
Quarter apples and place in instant pot. Zest a lemon, place zest into pot. Peel the zested lemon and discard pith. Place segmented lemon in pot. Cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape seeds out. Place both seeds and vanilla pod in the pot. Place cinnamon stick, cloves, sugar, cranberry, and water into the instant pot.
Set instant pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes. Let it naturally release for a minimum of 10 minutes, or longer if you can. Pour contents through a fine mesh strainer. For less pulp, pour contents through cheese cloth. Taste the cider and add my sweetener if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and re heat on the stove or in a microwave as needed! Enjoy!
Instant Pot Apple Cider
- 4 apples (red and green)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 lemon (remove pith)
- 1 cinnamon stick or 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 11 whole cloves or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
- 1/2 -1 cup sugar (sweeten as desired)
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberry
- 4 cups water
- Quarter apples and place in instant pot. Zest a lemon, place zest into pot. Peel the zested lemon and discard pith. Place segmented lemon in pot. Cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape seeds out. Place both seeds and vanilla pod in the pot. Place cinnamon stick, cloves, sugar, cranberry, and water into the instant pot.
- Set instant pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes. Let it naturally release for a minimum of 10 minutes, or longer if you can. Pour contents through a fine mesh strainer. Taste the cider and add more sugar if desired. For less pulp, pour contents through cheesecloth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and re heat on the stove or in a microwave as needed! Enjoy!